While I've never done a Fanpost before I comment daily and you all know who I am and how I feel about my team. I thought this would be as good a time as any to do my first. This is a direct response to some comments targeting not the Oakland Raiders team or the organization (aka: Al) but it's fanbase. I noticed a lot of trash-talking back and forth from both our own S&BP posters and AP posters coming over which really doesn't bother me since it is a rivalry and we all understand the ramifications of this weekend's outcome. However I started noticing not only from AP but other individuals commenting on the fact Oakland is having difficulty selling out tickets for the 12th straight game in a row. One of our own players called out the fans by saying he won't answer any media questions until we sell out a game. I cannot argue as we can attribute it to him being a passionate player and also the fact he is a rookie who probably isn't familiar with the region or it's typical everyday fan's financial situation. Then came a post from the Field Gulls blog.
This is where I felt the need to respond.
The post in a nutshell basically mocked the fans and their failure to afford to go to games and also went as far as to comment on how foolish the fans are with their spending. This is nothing more than a bitter attempt to bash a community after their team failed to report to a game at 1:15 local PT on 10/31/10. Everyone is aware of the economic struggles the entire country is going through right now and it's obvious the Oakland area is not an exception. I am not going to talk about the city's cultural significance or it's historical relevance because I don't live there. I've never been to Oakland as a matter of fact therefore it's not my place to do so and also someone who lives and breathes the city can do it much better than I can. If I was to guess the only other NFL city I could compare it to would be Pittsburgh. It is a working class town and doesn't have much else to latch onto since the Pirates haven't been relevant since Roberto Clemente passed away.
Oakland fans were such a national inquiry that HBO had a Tom Hanks narrated documentary on the Raiders, Athletics and the Warriors significance to the community during the mid-70s. I am sure Oakland Raider fan would justify being able to come out to the games regularly and budget their pay checks week to week and sell the Coliseum out if they had a winner every year. At 4-4 many of the fans are like me and realize it's too soon to invest too much right now when you have other bills to pay. The reason the Steelers always sell out is because they have had perrenial success even before winning two Super Bowls in the last four years. Or maybe some fans are just banning ticket sales until they are assured Al has finally seceded control of the organization as punishment for the seven years of futility and the ticket prices continuing to soar north. Maybe the fans were so accustomed to greatness during the 70's and early 80's and are still bitter about the move to LA that they choose to not go see a lesser product by comparison. The fact the NFL has given the organization an extension to sell this game out speaks volumes to how huge the game on Sunday is.
The only reason I wanted to respond is to just talk about you, the Raider Nation. You all like I have been through the good times and the bad. You were there just like me in your living room watching Jeff Hostetler find James Jett in the corner of the end zone with zero seconds left which forced overtime versus Elway and ended up clinching a home wild card game the following week. You were there when the team came back to Oakland and listened to how lovingly John Madden talked about how good it is for the Raiders to be back where the mystique was born. You were there through the Mike White and Joe Bugle years, the Gruden and Callahan era, the Andrew Walters, Aaron Brooks, the bed and breakfast coordinator and the Jamarcus experiment.
My point is there is no argument. This is the most passionate fan base I have ever had the pleasure to be a part of. I can't speak for the Red Sox Nation or the 12th man (rolling eyes) but I can say that barnone. Also while I may be on the fence on how good the 2010 Oakland Raiders are, I am not about this blog. Silver and Black Pride is the best sports blog on the internet and no one can take that away from you. The personalties are like this country, diverse. Fans like myself from West Texas, from Puerto Rico, or even stubborn old mules from Canada (I say that with as much affection as possible LADP, :), to even Patriot/ Raider fans and of course those who reside in the heart and represent every week through it all in person keep representing by continuing to be outcasts and misfits. The team may not be described that way anymore but it's fans are truly in a league of their own.